May 1988

Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia by a Clinical Nurse Using a Stepped-Care Protocol in a Nonvolunteer Population

Author Affiliations

From the Cardiovascular Disease Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(5):1046-1048. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380050052008

• National trials have demonstrated that the incidence of myocardial infarction and coronary death can be decreased, and progression of atherosclerosis delayed or reversed, by administration of bile acid—binding resins. A cholesterol clinic was established to determine whether a simple protocol would be effective in a nonvolunteer population referred by practicing cardiologists. The clinic was operated by a nurse who followed a stepped-care protocol, similar in concept to that used for treatment of hypertension. In the treatment of 86 patients with type II hyperlipidemia (cholesterol level, 6.85 mmol/L [>265 mg/dL]; triglyceride levels, normal or mildly elevated), compliance with the protocol resulted in reductions in cholesterol level of 19% in patients treated with diet, 23% for those treated with diet plus a bile sequestrant (colestipol hydrochloride or cholestyramine resin), and 25% in those treated with diet plus other cholesterol-lowering drugs. This method of treatment was effective and may serve as a model for the management of large numbers of patients with this condition.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1046-1048)